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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  February 23, 2010 5:00pm-8:00pm EST

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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 405, the nays are -- as i was saying, on this
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vote -- the ayes have 406, the nays are zero. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from new york, mr. mcmahon, to suspend the rules and agree to h.res. 1059 as amended on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 1059, resolution honoring the heroism of the seven united states agencies for international development and office of -- office of u.s. foreign disaster assistance, urban search and rescue teams deployed in haiti from new york city, new york, fairfax county,
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virginia, los angeles county, california, miami, florida, miami-dade county, florida, and virginia beach, virginia, and commending their dedication and assistance in the aftermath of the january 12, 2010, haitian earthquake. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to the resolution as amended. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 326, the noes are zero. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection the title is
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amended. the unfinished business is the question on suspending the rules and agreeing to h.res. 1039 which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: house resolution 1039, resolution supporting the goals and ideals of american heart month and national wear red day. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to the resolution. so many as are in favor say aye. aye. those who are opposed say no. >> mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to -- yes, the gentleman from virginia. for what purpose does do you seek recognition? mr. scott: -- >> on this matter i would ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays have been requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise.
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a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] fd
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 408. the nays are zero. 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to and without objection
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the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the house will be in order. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. members will take their seats. the house will be in order. members will please take their seats. would members please clear the well? for what purpose does the majority leader rise? mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hoyer: i thank the speaker. ladies and gentlemen of the house, there are times when we
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have the opportunity to witness a particular historical event. we are about to do that now. the gentleman from michigan, my dear friend, dale kildee, who is the epitomy of gentleman. i don't think there's a person in this house that doesn't think that dale kildee is a thoughtful, considerate, compassionate gentleman, a person who cares deeply about his country, cares deeply about the page program to which he's devoted so much of his talents, and cares about each one of us. none of us are objective in talking about dale kildee because he is such a decent, wonderful, good human being. he is also an extraordinary, faithful member of this house.
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i'm going to yield to mr. dingell, the dean of the house, at this point as we are about to witness mr. kildee casting his 20,000th vote in the house of representatives. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i now yield to the dean of the house, dale kildee's colleague from michigan, john dingell. mr. dingell: mr. speaker, i thank my good friend and colleague, the distinguished majority leader, for yielding. and i'm delighted to join him and my other colleagues in this
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tribute to a great citizen of the state of michigan. he's our friend, our distinguished colleague from michigan's fifth district, dale kildee, who just cast his 19,999th vote and his next vote will be 20,000. he's in his 34th year in this institution, and after he replaced our friend, don regal, who made the curious choice of running for the senate, he's been a matter of good fortune to all of us in michigan and to this body. because he's been a rock-solid member of this institution. in his whole 34 years, he's only missed 27 votes. that's a 99.9% voting record. he once made 8,141 consecutive votes. i have to say a fellow should avoid the pressure of that kind of situation. it's very bad. but we all agree his
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accomplishments are not just about numbers. he's been an important figure on legislation that has bettered the lives of our families, particularly our youngest citizens. no one here can find anyone who has done more to protect american children than has our friend, dale kildee. from his place on the house education and labor committee, he's been a leader on head start, school modernization, school safety, college access and affordability. he's been a great champion of our great lights which he loves and which he has protected -- great lakes, which he loves and he has protected. he's a great citizen of michigan. he's protected jobs and workers' rights. and to do so he's started the auto caucus together with our good friend from -- our other good friend from michigan. and as founder of the house native american caucus, he's helped give a voice on the hill to the concerns of our native
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american constituents across the country. flint, from where he comes, loves this man and all of us are proud to call him our friend. he's the iron man of the house, and i know if my good friend would yield to the distinguished gentlewoman from michigan she would like to have a word to say too. mr. hoyer: i certainly yield to the gentlelady from michigan. mrs. miller: one of my new colleagues, dale kildee, told me the three c's of service. and i'm sure he told others. that is conscious, constituents and caucus. first of all, san francisco, conscience. that comes first because as we all know, dale kildee, our good friend, has a deep and abiding faith in god and will and never take action that he believes that violates his beliefs.
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constituents, second, because those are the people that we are all here to represent. and dale kildee's constituents, as our colleague from michigan has said, from flint, michigan, are probably some of the most hardworking and patriotic americans in our entire great nation. and caucus comes last in the three c's because while we certainly want to be loyal to our team it is far more important that we are first of all loyal to our beliefs and to the people who send us here. and today, as dale kildee reaches an incredible milestone, 20,000 votes, and a 99.9% voting record because he understands that it is our primary responsibility to make sure that our constituents who we come here to represent are heard on the issues we consider here in the people's house. mr. speaker, everyone in this chamber is addressed as honorable but i think it is most fitting that this title be given to our good friend, dale kildee, because he's first and foremost a most honorable man. i have never ever heard a bad,
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negative comment about dale kildee in the time that i have been in this chamber and even before that when i was the secretary of state in michigan, all throughout our great state people have always thought of him in those terms as honorable. and i just want to be here to congratulate you sincerely and i am very proud to call you friend. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentlelady for her comments and i'm pleased to yield to my good friend, the minority leader, mr. boehner. mr. boehner: let me thank majority leader for yielding and rise to congratulate my friend, dale kildee. dale and i served on the education and labor committee for -- mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct. the house is not in order. mr. boehner: the gentleman from michigan and i served for many years on the education and labor committee. we had many debates. but there were dozens and dozens of issues that mr. kildee and i
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had the chance to work on together. and i do refer to him as mr. kildee. but as has been mentioned, there is no kinder, more decent person in this house thandale kildee. so,dale, on the occasion of your 20,000th vote cast here, i rise today to say, congratulations. >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have the right to revise and extend their remarks, to make such comments as they might deem appropriate on our colleague, mr. kildee. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. hoyer: i thank the dean and now, dale, we will cease and desist as you cast your0,000th vote. god bless you, you have served our country, your district and all the members as well as our pages so well over those 34
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years. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, five-minute voting will continue. the unfinished business is the question on suspending the ruelings -- rules and agreeing to house resolution 1046 which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: house resolution 1046, resolution recognizing the significance of black history month. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to the resolution. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended -- >> mr. speaker. mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? >> i ask for a recorded vote.
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the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those in favor -- favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] fd
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the speaker pro tempore: on t vote the yeas are 402, the nays are zero. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous done -- consent to be removed as a co-sponsor of h.res. 648. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the house will be in order.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from west virginia seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, pursuant to house resolution 1083 i call up the bill h.r. 2314 and ask for its immediate consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 241, h.r. 2314, a bill to express the policy of the united states regarding the united states relationship with native hawaiians and to provide for a process for the recognition by the united states of the native
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hawaiian governing entities. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 1083, the bill is considered read. after one hour of debate on the bill it shall be in order to consider the amendment in the nature of a substitute printed in part a of house report 111-413 if offered by the gentleman from hawaii, mr. abercrombie, or his degny -- designee, which shall be considered read and separately debatable for 30 minutes equally divided and controlled by a proponent and opponent. the nature of a substitute printed in part b of house report 111-413 each of which may be offered only by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read and shall be separately debatable for 10 minutes equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent. the gentleman from west virginia, mr. rahall, and the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks
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and insert extraneous material on h.r. 2314. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. rahall: mr. speaker, the history of these united states is replete with glory from the moment we broke the bonds of tyranny and declared independence to the severe test we endured to maintain our union of states during the civil war, to developments in science, medicine and technology, we as a nation advanced for the benefit of the entire world. but throughout much of this history, our treatment of indigenous populations has been found wanting. the various policies that the united states advanced toward native americans from destruction to asimulation to reservation were conflicting and did not usually produce favorable results. at least from the perspective of the native american. today we are considering a measure which seeks to rectify a wrong that occurred 117 years ago. on january 17, 1893, the
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legitimate kingdom of hawaii was overthrown by american speculators with the active participation of the u.s. military. five years after this overthrow, hawaii was an ex-ed to the united states and the lands of the indigenous population were lost to sugar plantations. their health, education and economic standing diminished greatly. a saga that has been repeated again and again with respect to native americans throughout our country. the measure we are consider today is not a restitution measure, nor is it an outright recognition measure. what it would do is create a process by which the native hawaiian governing body would be reorganized in the political and legal relationship with the united states would be reaffirmed. i think it is important to note what this bill does not do. it does not allow for gaming. it does not provide for the
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transfer of any lands. it does not change civil or criminal jurisdiction by the state or federal government and it does not provide for any new eligibility into indian programs. following the reorganization of a governing body, the bill authorizes negotiation among the federal, state and native hawaiian governing entity to address certain powers and authorities. any changes in these areas would require enactment of additional federal and possibly state legislation. beginning in 1920, congress began passing legislation specifically for the benefit of native hawaiians. to date, over 160 laws have been enacted to provide the native hawaiian community everything, from housing, to repateiation of hawaiian human remains from the nation's hew seems. in each case -- museums. in each case congress enacted legislation to the people of hawaii similar to the natives
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of the other 49 states. this is not a matter of race. it is a matter of congress properly dealing with the indigenous populations as expressly sanctioned by the constitution of the united states. to allege that the congress cannot engage in legislation of the pending nature reguarding native hawaiians is to ignore that fact that there are 564 federally recognized indian tribes in this country. the bill before us today is similar -- has similar legislation that's passed the house in previous congresses. during the 106th congress we passed a similar bill under suspension of the rules when the republicans held the majority. that was under tom delay's watch. what a different tune we will hear today from the other side. similar legislation passed last congress by a similar majority. so i urge my colleagues to vote to fulfill our constitutional
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responsibility toward indigenous people residing in the united states and vote for this bill. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to h.r. 2314 and the substitute text that will be offered by my good friend from hawaii, mr. abercrombie. mr. speaker, at the outset of this debate, it's important for all members to understand that the substitute text that they will be voting on today has fundamentally changed from the original bill that the house voted on in 2007. this rewritten text, the abercrombie substitute, was drafted behind closed doors away from public view. it was unveiled less than 48 hours before we in the house
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were to be debating and voting on that substitute. regrettably, mr. speaker, this lack of transparency has become the standard operating procedure for this democratic controlled house. mr. speaker, i'm certain we will hear appeals from the bill's advocates that the vote on this bill should not be a partisan manner. i would agree. this is not a partisan manner. rather it is the question of what is right and constitutional. but appeals to nonpartisanship ring home when the bill was rewritten in secret by just one party and then rushed to the floor with little time for scrutiny by the minority. but more importantly, mr. speaker, little time for scrutiny by the american people or the citizens of hawaii. there's nothing more troubling about the house voting on a fundamentally rewritten bill than the position made public by the governor of hawaii.
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something is very wrong when that governor, a longtime vocal advocate for the native hawaiian recognition, feels compelled to issue a statement last night that she can't support this rewritten bill. now, the governor and i disagree on the fundamental question of recognition. i want to make that clear. just as i fundamentally disagree my good friend from hawaii, mr. abercrombie. this governor has long supported, as i mentioned, the concept of native hawaiian recognition and the original intent -- the original text of the bill. let me explain the difference between the underlying bill which is basically what the house passed in the 110th congress, and the abercrombie
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amendment in the nature of a stub city tute. this is very -- substitute. this is very important, mr. speaker. to extend recognition to the native hawaiians entity by withheld any tribal powers, such as immunity from lawsuit and state jurisdiction until after negotiations with and the consent of the state of hawaii and this congress. though this does not resolve my fundamental objection to the bill, it was an arrangement that drew the strong support of governor lingle of hawaii. in contrast, the substitute alters this fundamental nature of the bill. let me quote the words of the governor of hawaii, governor linda lingle, used to describe this rewrite. and i quote, the current bill establishes that the native hawaiian governing entity would start with broad governmental powers and authorities and
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negotiate -- with negotiations to follow, end quote. again, the original bill starts with negotiations. followed by a grant of powers and authority that are subject to the consent of the state. but the substitute starts with the grant of powers and authority without the consent of the state followed by negotiations for yet more benefit and power. let me be specific, mr. speaker, in two instances. first, section 9 of the substitute clearly spells out the powers granted to the native american government entity before negotiations without the consent of the state. it is immunity from any lawsuit in any federal or state court with only minor exceptions. second, it is that governmental activities pursued by the endity or its employees shall not be subject to state regulatory -- entity or its
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employees shall not be subject to state regulatory or authority. it suggests that the state criminal authority will not even apply to officers and employees of the native hawaiian governing entity as long as they are acting within the scope of their duties. to once again quote from the governor of hawaii's statement from last night. quote, i do not believe such a structure of two completely different sets of rules, one for governmental activities of the native hawaiian governing entity and its officers and employees and one for everyone else makes sense for hawaii. quoting further. in addition, under the current bill the native hawaiian governing entity has almost complete sovereign immunity from lawsuits including from ordinary tort and contract lawsuits. and i do not believe this makes sense for the people of hawaii. end quote. and i'm quoting from governor leaningle.
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without question, -- governor lingle. without question, this rewritten bill strikes to the heart of hawaii's authority to enforce health and environmental regulations, taxes and criminal law enforcement equally among its citizens. congress should not be a party to imposing this upon this state or for that matter any state. yet, despite the state of hawaii's concerns with the rewritten bill, here we are tonight debating it on the house -- on the floor of the house of representatives. this legislation violates, also in my view, the united states constitution because it establishes a separate race-based government of native hawaiians. the authors and advocates of this bill have argued that native hawaiian recognition is no different than congress recognizing an indian tribe. and yet, mr. speaker, they are very important and real differences. native hawaiians are not and never have been members of an
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indian tribe. native hawaiians do not share the same political and legal history as federally recognized indian tribes. the historical record on this point is very, very clear. for example, in the hawaii organic act of 1900, section 4 states that all persons, all persons who are citizens of the republic of hawaii in 1898 were declared citizens of the united states and citizens of the territory of hawaii. mr. speaker, if congress then believed it was recognized in the existence of a separate native hawaiian community, the organic act would have expressly reflected this. instead, all hawaiians were recognized as full citizens. now, mr. speaker, this is in stark contrast to our nation's history of less than equal treatment of individual indians and indian tribes.
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but try as we might, congress cannot revise historical and political facts. h.r. 2314 attempts to do just this, to rewrite legal history. mr. speaker, this observation is shared by constitutional and civil rights experts. for example, in its 7-2 decision, the supreme court in rice vs. kaitono, commented on the proposition of native hawaiian recognition saying that, and i quote from that case, would raise questions of considerable moment and difficulty. it is a manner of some dispute whether congress may treat the native hawaiians as it does indian tribes, end quote. just yesterday the u.s. commission on civil rights reiterated its standing opposition to any legislation, and i quote, from the commission, that would discriminate on the basis of race or national origin and
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further subdivide the american people into discrete subgroups according to varying degrees, end quote. mr. speaker, in 1959, a vote was taken in hawaii on the question of becoming a state. over 94% voted in favor of statehood. in other words, citizens of hawaii voted overwhelmingly to join our union as one unified state. today under this bill, congress will be -- will vote on dividing the state of hawaii through the creation of a separate government entity based solely on race. if congress is going to impose this division on hawaii over the objections of its governor, then i believe the citizens of hawaii themselves deserves to have a vote on this matter. in a zogby poll from december, 2009, a couple months ago, only
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34% of hawaiians supported the concept of the federal government imposing a new racially based subpopulation of citizens on the islands. like their fellow hawaiians who voted overwhelmly for statehood in 1959, hawaiians today want a say on their archipelago. the same poll found that 58% wanted a statewide vote on this issue. now, mr. speaker, i have an amendment that i'll offer that will require just such a statewide vote. and i hope all members will join me in adopting that amendment. as i noted at the outset of my remarks, the house last voted on native hawaiian recognition in 2007. i want to reiterate today, mr. speaker, that we will be voting on a different bill today. the 2007 legislation was
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rewritten. i believe the changes today are so fundamentally different from those that those members who voted yes in 2007 should take the time to reconsider their vote. and there is another compelling reason for reconsideration. when the governor of hawaii, the state that is impacted, has gone from an enthusiastic supporter of the 2007 bill to not supporting this rewritten bill. i hope many of my colleagues will recognize this dramatic change from just under three years ago. the governor remains a committed supporter of native hawaiian recognition. her position has not changed. it is the bill that has been fundamentally changed and rewritten. like the governor who supported the 2007 bill, they, too, have good reason to oppose this rewritten version today.
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now, mr. speaker, before concluding my opening statement, i want to take a moment to publicly state that i have a great deal of respect and affection for my colleague from hawaii, neil abercrombie. he is departing the house at the end of this week, and i do regret that i am leading the opposition to his bill in his final days here in the house. to be very honest, mr. speaker, i'd much rather be on the floor supporting his bipartisan legislation to write into law a five-year plan to develop america's offshore oil and gas reserves. regrettably, such reasonable legislation stands no chance of making it to the floor in this congress. and i do regret that. . i hope my friend knows that my
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opposition to the bill is based on my view of the matter and not a reflection of the high regard in which i hold my friend. i wish him well in his future endeavors, well, maybe not real, real well. with that, mr. speaker -- mr. abercrombie: would the gentleman yield? mr. hastings: i will yield. mr. abercrombie: i'm deeply touched by your remarks. your friendship is something i treasure and value. and i'm so taken with it, as a matter of fact, that i wonder if you would allow me to present you with a token of my esteem, my regard for you, these chocolate-covered macadamian are what you need right now. they will give you an opportunity to contemplate as to whether or not out of regard for our friendship and affection for each other, that you will
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actually support the bill. mr. hastings: reclaiming my time, i hope the gentleman has checked with the eggetics committee. but having been a long time member, i gladly accept that from my good friend. mr. rahall: mr. speaker, i can aissue you that the ethics committee and the parliamentarian and the speaker of the house have assured me if you can consume it on the premises, it's ok. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: before i yield to the author of the pending legislation, i would like to make a couple of comments and praise him for his work, his hard work and his determination and his persistence and patience on the pending matter. for 20 years, representative and
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beer come by and i have served together on the natural resources committee. we have fought battles together and i'm proud to call him a friend, unique friend, and i'm not getting chocolate-covered nuts this evening. he has been able to work together with members of differing views and backgrounds and has always remained decent, fair-minded, able to reach across the aisle, both politically and philosophically. and i find that truly a commendable feature of this gentleman. he will be leaving the congress, as we have already heard, from the minority side, at the end of this week. i can tell him that his mark on this institution will live on much longer after he has returned to his beloved hawaii and his other pursuits. he has been a champion of all native americans during his time
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in congress. it is a testament to knil that he will spend -- neil that he will be fighting for the rights of hawaiians. and i yield to the the gentleman from hawaii. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. abercrombie: thank you very much, mr. speaker and thank you, mr. chairman and thank you, doc. my regard for you and for all the members is, of course, something that i trust is understood by all. i see my good friend, don young there as well. mr. speaker, this bill is an enabling bill. it establishes a process. the core of this bill assures that native hawaiian government has the same powers and sovereign immunity as other native governments and this is
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consistent with the history of the legal discussions and court cases that have taken place over such a long period of time. since passage of the bill in the resources committee, we have had two months of discussions with the hawaii state attorney general, numerous changes as a result in the substitute amendment and added several pages of new text to make the state more comfortable with how a native government interacts with the state government. this is, in fact, my amendment. and i wanted to assure the minority on the floor -- i don't think there is a minority here. doc is quite right, it's not a question of republican versus dem rat or majority or minority but a question of perspective as to what is appropriate with regard to native hawaiians and
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how they establish local government, state government and united states of america. so this has not been something behind closed doors. it has been a full and complete discussion with the governor and with the attorney general. and i think that's reflected in the governor's statement. in conversation with governor lingle today, we concluded that we would agree to disagree. as representative hastings has indicated, she continues to support the legislative object of the bill and i want to assure the house that her administration will not be disadvantaged in anyway in any negotiations undertaken upon passage and signing of this bill. as a candidate for governor myself, i'm completely comfortable with the language of the substute -- substitute and i believe that no governor, regardless of who it may be, will be disadvantaged.
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the substitute amendment treats native hawaiiian entity and follows centuries of existing native american law. native -- excuse me, mr. speaker, native hawaiians are not a race but an indigenous people of the united states. the united states supreme court has repeatedly held that legislation enacted to address the special concerns and conditions of native people of the united states does not constitute discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity. the sovereign status of indian tribes recognized by the constitution was later extended to alaska natives as indigenous people and representative young can attest to that. on the same basis, congress has enacted legislation on multiple occasions for the aboriginal and indigenous people of hawaii. absent the substitute, h.r. 2314
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would undual limit the power of the native hawaiian government entity to accomplish the ordinary and customary activities of any other native organization, such as providing for the welfare of their children or the health care of its members. the substitute amendment then ensures that the native hawaiian governing entity will have the same power and authorities that other entities exercise today. the native hawaiian government will have sovereign entity, the same as other native governments, no more, no less. this is not a new provision. under the bill passed by the house in the last congress, it would have sovereign immunity once it is federally recognized. in support of this bill is the congressional delegation of hawaii, the national congress of american indians, the alaska federation of natives, et cetera, et cetera. the native american caucus under
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representatives kildee and cole, are supportive. native hawaiian organizations such as the sovereign council for homestead organizations and the office of hawaiian affairs. local political leaders in both houses of the legislature and numerous resolutions from both of those bodies are in support. may i have one more minute? mr. rahall: i yield two more minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two more minutes. mr. abercrombie: i could not take leave of the floor, mr. speaker, without mentioning the following. it is one thing for representative hastings or young or rahall, myself or others to take to the floor. but without the staff support, it simply couldn't be done. our friend, an institution national giant of the resources
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committee, marie, is retiring and i commend her for not just the work on this bill but the devotion she has had. janet is taking her place as staff director for indian affairs. rick and jim have been heavily involved in bringing this bill to the floor. their efforts are deeply appreciated by everyone. countless hours of staff time and the administration, both departmental and the white house, have been put forward. as has been indicated, mr. speaker, this bill has passed out of the house natural resources committee four times already, passed from the house floor twice. under the leadership of a group of chairs, don young, george miller and nick rahall. the bill has passed under the leadership of speaker dennis hastert and my good friend tom delay. it is not ideological and
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nonpartisan. and the last occasion i will have to address the house as i take my leave, mr. speaker, i love this house. i admire and respect every member. it has been a privilege for me to be first sworn in as the last person to be sworn in by speaker tip o'nil, i take my leave today with profound respect, admiration and affection for every member of this house of representatives. this is the people's house. you can only enter it upon the fact of having been elected by your constituents. they have placed their faith and trust in us. and i extend my faith and trust that this house will continue the great tradition of democracy. and i want to say to one and all, i love you and i love this house. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired the gentleman from washington.
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mr. hastings: thank you, mr. speaker. as i said in my remarks, the gentleman from hawaii will be missed. with that, i will yield three minutes to the the gentleman from alaska, mr. young. mr. young: i ask unanimous consent to rise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: so ordered. mr. young: mr. speaker, i can only say i'm losing a good friend who is going to better places. you have been an ally to myself and working in a bipartisan fashion with the chairman. on both sides of the aisle, we always talked to one another and recognized the importance of being the congressman and listening to the congressman from that district. and i have sponsored this bill every time it has come out of the committee. and while i was chairman and before i was chairman and after i was chairman, and i will continue to do that. i understand representative hastings and his position. but as we talk about this politically, we have to think about the people that we are
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affecting by our words. they have been patient, patient, patient. and it's time for us to take the step forward. is this bill perfect? no i think it's better after the amendment is adopted. it does solve the problems. there is no indian country in hawaii. land cannot be taken in a trust. native hawaiian government may not exercise jurisdiction over nonnative hawaiians. but these are native hawaiians and i can speak from a great deal of pride of what happened in alaska. in 1971, we passed the native lands act where we recognized the natives of alaska, alaska natives. and the progress they have made and the contribution they have made to the state. it's amazing. they are the number one -- i would say economic driving force in the state today.
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from a large group of people, 13 basic different tribes, regions, they were from a group that wasn't recognized other than the fact that they were natives, that they really did not fit will, but part of this state before we long came there, my state. and they were recognized. it's just awesome. and i'm hoping this happens in the state of hawaii. and for those in hawaii who may oppose this, you know, open your hearts and minds and do a little something different in hawaii as we did in alaska and see the benefit to the individual, not only to the natives, but everybody else. if this is legislation, it's a step forward. is it perfect? the governor says no. it's open for debate. if we don't do something, those people will be neglected again. so i ask my colleagues on my side and the other side, to consider, let's move on
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something that is humanely the right thing to do, for a group of people that are americans. they are aboriginals to the state of hawaii. they are brothers to alaska. we will work together. i compliment again, my good friend, neil, representing his people. that's what we're here for. and thank god we have people like that left. i'll miss you, neil. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i'm very proud at this moment to yield six months to the gentlelady from hawaii, who has been instrumental as well in passing this legislation, bringing it to the point that we are now experiencing, ms. hirono. . i yield her six minutes.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for six minutes. ms. hirono: i rise in strong support of the native hawaiiian government reorganization act this bill will finally enable native hawaiiians to embark on their long-awaited process of achieving self-determination. i'd like to thank chairman rahall for his leadership and general support of this important bill and i want to recognize and thank my friend, congressman aber christmas bee, the bill's chief -- abercrombie, the bill's chief sponsor for his years of dedicated service to our state and our country. it's fitting that one of his last legislative actions before he leave this is body will be on the native hawaiiian
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government reorganization act, an issue we both care deeply about. how we treat native people shows what kind of country we are. there are things in our past that make us less than proud. all indigenous people have suffered at the hands of our government. but one of the great attributes of america has been to look objectively at our history, learn from it, and when possible to make amends. h.r. 2314 has been more than 10 years in the making and it's been a deliberative and open legislative process. there have been 12 congressional hearings on this bill, five of which were held in hawaii. it's been marked up by committees in both chambers. the house has passed this bill twice in 2000 and again in 2007. we have a bill now that is constitutional and one that the house should again pass. the goals and purposes of this
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bill are consistent with the history of the native hawaiiian people and the record of united states involvement in hawaii. the bill is also consistent with the over 160 existing federal laws that promote the welfare of the native hawaiiian people by, among other things, helping them preserve their culture and return to their lands. building on that history, h.r. 2314 will formalize the special political and legal relationship between the united states and the native hawaiiians by providing a process through which the native hawaiiian community can reorganize its governing entity within this relationship. the kingdom of hawaii was overthrown in 1893. hawaii's last monarch was deposed by an armed group of businessmen and sugar planters who were american by birth or heritage with the critical support of the u.s. troops. the queen agreed to relinquish her throne under protest to avoid blood shed. she believed the united states,
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with which hawaii had diplomatic relations, would do the right thing and restore her to the throne. it's important to note that the sovereign nation of hawaii had treaties with other nations besides the united states, including great britain, france, germany, italy, japan and russia. as we now know, despite the objections of president grover cleveland, the injustice of an overthrow of an independent, sovereign nation was allowed to stand and the republic of hawaii was created. prior to annexation, a cigna chur drive obtained signatures of native hawaiiians, inhad 29,000 signatures out of a population of 40,000. the native hawaiiian population numbered between a conservative estimate of 300,000 to as many
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as one million native hawaiiians. the siege of native hawaiiian culture continued after annexation. the republic of hawaii prohibited the use of the hawaiiian language in schools. everyday use of the hawaiiian language diminished greatly. hula dancing which had been suppressed by the missionaries, then restored by the king who proceeded our -- preceded our final queen, survived but did not flourish. one of our first delegate's co-congress was the passage of the act of 1920 which set aside some 200,000 acres of land for native hawaiiians. the reason for this legislation was the landless status of so many hawaiiians displaced by newcomers to the islands and became the most disadvantaged
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population in their native land. congress passed the hawaiiian homes act in recognition of its responsibility toward native hawaiiians. as with other indigenous people, their views were different from the newcomers, resulting in the loss of much of the land that had been traditionally occupied and cultivated by newcomers. hawaii became a state in 1959. beginning in the late 1960's and early 1970's, a hawaiiian rediscovery began this cultural resauns was inspired by hula masters who helped bring back the ancient art and political leaders who sought to protect hawaii's sacred places and natural beauty this flourishing of hawaiiian culture was not
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met with fear in hawaii but with joy and celebration and an increased connection with each other. people of all ethnicities in hawaii respect and honor the native hawaiiian culture. the idea of self-determination by native hawaiiians is regarded as just because we understand hawaii's history and the importance of our host culture. may i have another minute? mr. rahall: i yield the gentlelady another minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. hirono it's -- ms. hirono: it's established that the constitution grants authority to congress. the authority over indian affairs is to prescribe the process by which aboriginal tribes organize or reorganize for the purposes of carrying out a government-to-government
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relationship with the united states. the hawaii state motto translates to the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness. native hawaiiians, like the native americans and alaska natives have an important status as a protected group. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized. >> may i inquire as to the time remaining? >> the gentleman has 14 minutes. >> i recognize the gentleman. >> there's no blinking at the fact that this bill strikes at the foundation of a nation that's dedicated to the concept
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of equality under law. it establishes a different set of laws a different set of rights and a different government for one group of americans based solely upon their race. two american families living next door to one another would be afforded two different sets of rights enforced by two separate sovereignties, all based entirely on accident of birth. ever since brown vths board of education, the supreme court has ruled that such an arrangement is fundamentally income pat wble the american constitution. 10 years ago, the supreme court in a 7-2 decision struck down identical race-based voting qualifications for the office of hawaiiian affairs. the state argued that it could impose race-based voting qualifications base thond
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eprecedent of indian tribes we just heard today. here's how the court responded. they said, quote, even were we to take the substantial step of finding authority in congress delegated to the state to treat hawaiiians or native hawaiiians as tribes, congress may not authorize a state to create a voting scheme of this sort, end of quote. that's exactly what this bill does. this bill establishes a precedent that will allow any distinct group within our nation to demand its own separate, organic rights and government. were we to pass this bill, there'd be no grounds to deny any other racial group with historic grievances their own separatist government and exclusive rights. having enacted this law, on what basis do we deny every other demand to tear our country apart. this is a precedent that is
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enormously damaging to a multiracial nation founded on the principles of e plure bus ewe numb and equal -- e pluribus unum and equal rights under the law. under whose law are competing claims to be settled? this bill explicitly provides that the new native hawaiiian government cannot be challenged in an american court. how exactly can congress cede by statute the very essence of its constitutional authority requiring several criminal jurisdictions and property rights to be negotiated away to this new entity defined solely by the rates of its members. the analogy with american indian tribes is absurd. historically american indian tribes never voted to join the union.
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they were conquered by force and extended by treaty certain lands in which they could exercise sovereignty. whatever the circumstances involved in the revolution of 1893 and the annexation of 1898, those circumstances became irrelevant in 1959 when the people of hawaii voted by a 17-1 margin, nearly 95%, to join the union and become an integral and indivisible part of the american nation. the admissions act never contemplated the establishment of a separatist government. the provision they cite provided an option for land for homes and small farm farce small number of hawaiiians with 50% native ancestry. the admissions act did not contemplate establishment of a separatist government. it did contemplate assuming the
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full provisions of the american constitution and the constitution's prohibition of race-based separatism and race-based rights. legally a tribe exists only when it has government that's had contact over its members from before western contact until the present. the sovereignty of that government is limited to the trust lands of the tribe. these listening-established criteria are entirely inapplicable to american citizens of hawaiiian descent, 40% of whom don't live in hawaii according to the 2,000 -- the 2000 census. there's no more effective way to destroy a nation than to divide its people by race and cord them different rights and different governments based upon their race. that's exactly what this bill does. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from west virginia.
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mr. rahall: i'm pleased to yield to the gentleman from american samoa -- samoa, five minutes. mr. faleomavaega: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. faleomavaega: i ask that the entire extent of my remarks be made part of the text. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. faleomavaega: i rise in support of the nate every hawaiiian government reorganization act of 2009 this confirms the special political status for continuing a government-to-government relationship. i want to thank chairman rahall and the members of the natural resources committee for their support. i especially want to thank and recognize my good friend and colleague, the gentleman from the state of hawaii, mr. abercrombie for his leadership
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and tireless efforts in bringing this legislation to the floor for consideration. for some 20 years, i've had the privilege and honor of working closely with mr. abercrombie on legislation that benefited not only my constituent bus the great state of hawaii. i also want to thank my colleague and my dear friend ms. hi hi roe noah and other members for co-sponsoring this important legislation. mr. speaker, the legislation before us is very important for many reasons, none more critically important than for congress to extend proper and appropriate reng in addition for some 300,000 to 400,000 native hawaiiians living in the state of hawaii and outside the state of hawaii. constitutionally, congress has the authority to address the nature of the people of the united states and the people of the hawaiiian islands are a distinctively native community and for many years existed as a
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sovereign entity from 1826 until 1893, the united states government recognized the kingdom of hawaii as a sovereign and independent nation. . a governing trade, commerce and navigation in the years, 1826, 1842, 1849, 1875, 1877 and yes, even our government, the united states of america was party to these treaties with the sovereign kingdom of hawaii. u.s. missionaries and sugar planters, aided by an unauthorized and use of military forces overthrew the sovereign kingdom of hawaii which was ruled by the queen. in 1993, congress reafffirmed
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such a travesty when they passed a joint resolution to acknowledge and apologize on behalf of the united states for the illegal and unlawful overthrow of the hawaiian kingdom and for the deprivation of the rights and privileges of the indigenous native hawaiians. the status was never properly addressed by the united states congress and it is within congress' constitutional authority to do so. the supreme court determined that the american indians of the lower 48 states are an indigenous people. in fact, recognition of the native skeans as indigenous people demonstrates this constitutional authority. and even the u.s. supreme court authority has recognized this constitutional authority and has accepted a broader interpretation allowing congress to recognize indigenous groups,
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even those who are culturally distinct from the narrow concept of being an indian or as a tribe. in hawaiians homes commission act, congress reafffirmed the special and trust relationship between the united states and the native hawaiians. in addition, the act recognized the native hawaiians as distinct and unique indigenous people. native hawaiians are indigenous. and it is unfortunate that even today, the status of 400,000 native hawaiians have yet to be afforded the same recognition as our first americans. mr. speaker, over the years, the treatment of indigenous native hawaiians has been piecemeal at best. there are over 150 laws that have been passed by the congress
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related to the social, educational, economic and cultural needs of the indigenous native hawaiians. this sets the framework for the establishment of a relationship between the united states and the indigenous native happyians just as congress as done for the american indians and native alaskans. there are only three indigenous groups, american indians within the continental united states, native alaskans and nature eff hawaiians. mr. speaker, the bill we have before us today will continue the long but necessary road towards full recognition by the congress of the right of the indigenous native hawaiians. the underlying issue is not about the -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. faleomavaega: ask for one minute. mr. faleomavaega: this bill is
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going to establish a process, giving the native hawaiians the staple status we have done for the american indians and native alaskans. nothing to do with race. giving proper recognition and also as a moral imperative on the part of our government, give proper recognition to the native hawaiians. they deserve this. they aren't begging for anything. give them proper recognition. i ask my colleagues to support this bill and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. cole. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized for three minutes. mr. cole: i thank my good friend, mr. abercrombie for his distinct issued career and the fact that i'm rising in support of this bill and mr. young has risen in support of this bill, an indication it's not a partisan issue.
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this is a nonpartisan question before the congress. it's not an issue of race. it's not an issue of states' rights as some would argue. it's a question of federal authority and how the federal government chooses to treat indigenous peoples. and frankly, if we want to look at that, we ought to be guided by our own constitution, our own legal traditions and our own actions as a congress. over 200 years of american history has taught us from the foundations of the constitution, that we had decided we will treat native peoples as individual, sovereign units and we'll negotiate our relationships with them. we haven't always lived up to that idea, no question about it, over the course of our history. there have been efforts to destroy native nations. there have been efforts to remove them from their homeland. but when we adhere to our constitutional traditions and negotiated and dealt with native
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peoples on a government-to-government basis, the relationship has been a good and productive one. the facts of this case are very clear. from the very beginning, we recognize native hawaiians as a distinct and separate group. we have passed over 160 statutes in the congress of the united states. and frankly, this measure before us is not going to reshape hawaii. it will regularize the relationship between native hawaiians and their state and federal government and allow a negotiation to take place. i make no bones about the fact that i favored the original 2007 bill. i did that not because it was necessarily a superior bill, but because it allowed a negotiated process that i thought would actually ease this transition. but at the end of the day, the question is one of constitutional pro prite and sovereign rights and appropriate procedure and this bill meets all of those tests. so i look forward to its
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passage. i look forward to the fact that it will have broad, bipartisan support and i look once again to reflecting on our own remarkable traditions as a country and people. we don't always do the right thing, but eventually we do the just thing. and in this situation, recognizing native hawaiians is the just thing to do. i urge support for this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i yield three minutes to the the gentleman from california, mr. honda. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. honda: thank you, and i want to thank the chairman for this opportunity and for those who are in this debate. i think this is what congress is all about, where we talk about very substantive issues and this is one of those most important issues because it affects our relationship with other countries, other states and other indigenous people and in
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this case, indigenous people who are considered sovereign entities. and this what we are trying to accomplish for the native hawaiians in hawaii. this is not about race. i think when we use race in other things, it muddies up the issues and i think our colleagues, congressman cole, explains it very clearly. and that as a teacher and i'm not a lawyer, i may not understand all the laws and all the terminology of the law, how he explains it is very clear. and i think the people of this country understands clear talk and when they hear clear talk, they understand, when we talk about justice and equality and recognizing indigenous people, it becomes very, very evident which way we should go.
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this is like congressman cole said, this is about federal authority under the constitution. and the 48 states had already done this with indigenous people. some people call them indian tribes. but nonetheless, they were indigenous people. mr. young, from the 49th state, indicates the same sentiment in that when they became the 49th state, their relationship, they accorded them the same kind of consideration of self-determination. hawaii has -- is trying to do the same thing, the 50th state. it seems like if the previous 49 states are able to do this, this is one of replication -- and there are a lot of things established. and chairman rahall had indicated what this bill is not about. and that should clearly set
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aside any kind of arguments against this kind of an effort. i appreciate the work of both mr. abercrombie and ms. hirono. and i think under the constitution and under the eyes of justice and for those who are clear thirst in the congress, this should be a no-brainer. we should approve this bill and make it into law and finally recognize the people of hawaii, the indigenous people of hawaii as who theyr a self-determining indigenous group. and the federal courts did not talk about -- when it was brought up about the monies being used for the native tribes, if i could use three seconds -- -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. rahall: i yield the gentleman five seconds.
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mr. honda: the federal monies cannot be used for state elections, state elections cannot be used for private kinds of elections. that's what they were saying. it's not about race. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i would like to yield at this time three minutes to the the gentleman from iowa, mr. king. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from iowa is recognized. mr. king: thank you, mr. speaker. and i thank the gentleman from washington yielding some time on this matter. i rise in opposition to this bill and the native hawaiian reorganization act. whether it's amended or not amended and i do so, because the united states as -- was founded upon the principle of equality, principle of equality before the law and we have built upon the principle of equality of opportunity. and as i listened to each of the speakers address this tonight,
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there seems to be a continuing theme that there are specific groups of people that deserve specific kinds of consideration before the law and before the appropriations of the united states congress and specific access to assets that might be utilized for their specific use as opposed to other hawaiians who aren't defined as native hawaiians. i recall the debate back in 1959 when hawaii and alaska were brought in. and i recall the discussions that with were there then that the success that hawaii had been assimilating people into the broader society of hawaii and how we didn't have to work -- worry about the expression, hawaiians dividing themselves in separate groups, they were assimilated. assimilated was the code word of the day and that was the promise and commitment that the hawaiian
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government made to the united states when they were brought into the union. we see a piece of legislation before us that defies the very concept that was a principle that was clearly understood here on this floor of this congress when hawaii was brought into the union. when i look at what this does, the broad definition of native hawaiians, might mean anywhere where they are in the united states, that could be brought under this umbrella of beneficiary of assets that could be 40% of the land mass of the state of hawaii to be governed and regulated by self-described native hawaiians at the expense of everyone else and i wonder how good these promises might be. we wouldn't set up gaming institutions, toll roads or roadblocks, this would be a pro-tourism industry. it probably will be, mr. speaker. but i'm so concerned about the broader fundamental principle that applies here. and i would argue that the
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gentleman that has spoken on behalf of those native americans that actually are real tribes by the definition that exists within statute and within the tradition of law, have no solutions for the reservation system that we have. they envision it the same as 100 years from today. we see the republically occasion of pathologies from reservation to ress irvacation. i would have -- reservation. mr. hastings: i yield the gentleman one additional minute. mr. king: i make this point. when i read the material on this and i so appreciate mr. abercrombie's work and i know his hard and head is in this. this is an email i wrote to my staff. this bill makes a resounding statement that even native hawaiians can't be assimilated into a western society. i disagree. it is a fundamental statement that goes to the heart of what
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it means to be an american, if, after all these years, native hawaiians have to be tribalized in order to function in a modern society. all must abide by the idealogic philosophy. however good the thoughtsr america should not be assimilated. we shouldn't be pitted against each other and not have certain assets designated to them. we should be all americans under one flag. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from west virginia. . mr. rahall: we're ready to close when the other side is. mr. hastings: i will be ready,
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i'll go ahead and close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: this issue has been around congress over 10 years and has had broad support within the state of hawaii for over 10 years. and the underlying bill, before we will vote on the substitute, the underlying bill has broad support in the state of hawaii. but now we are going to have an amendment that was not written in public, and in fact, as i mentioned in my earlier remarks, the governor is opposed to this approach on this bill even though she agrees whole heartedly with the issue of recognition for native hawaiiians. but mr. speaker, i take everybody's word that's involved in this that it will be worked out to everybody's satisfaction, but mr. speaker, why should we on the floor of
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the house -- i yield myself another additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. hastings: i urge my colleagues to vote against the substitute and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expire. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i'm glad to yield the balance of our time to the gentleman from hawaii, mr. abercrombie. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. abercrombie: i want to thank my colleagues here today and i want to thank those, especially, who have risen in opposition. this is what our democracy is all about. my only regret in extending my aloha to those who made -- may not feel able to vote for the
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bill today is that you have not had an opportunity, perhaps, to visit with, to understand, and to comprehend what it means to be a native hawaiiian. it's, of course, very easy for someone to say, how can you do that? you came from somewhere else. i was born and raised in buffalo and just outside buffalo, new york. i came to hawaii some 50 years ago, with statehood, given the opportunity to go to the university of hawaii as a graduate teaching assistant. and the first thing that happened to me as i came that great distance across the continent and across the ocean, then in a pan american clipper, took 10 hours just to get from the coast to hawaii.
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and when i took that first breath of hawaiiian air and saw the gorgeous curves of the island of oahu, diamond head, why kiki, and the first -- why kiki, and the first evening, going to the valley where i now reside, it was as if destiny had called and the first contact that i had with with my -- was with my chinese american friend solomon whose family took me in and treated me as one of their own. that's what hawaii is all about. mr. speaker, this is not about race. this is about the aloha spirit. this is about the rainbow state of hawaii. this is about native hawaiiians who give us the host culture and the fundamental sense of who we are as human beings and the diversity that defines us in hawaii, that does not divide us, is the kind of diversity and definition we need in this
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house of representatives, that we need in the united states of america. this is hawaiiees -- hawaii east gift to the -- hawaii's gift to the united states. in the spirit of aloha, i ask for a vote favorably on behalf of the native hawaiiian recognition bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. all time for debate on the bill has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida rise? >> mr. speaker, after that stirring set of remarks with which i agree, and whole heartedly, i send to the desk a privilege red port if from the committee on rules for filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the
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clerk will report the rule. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 1098, providing for considering of the bill h.r. 4626, restore the application of the federal antitrust laws to the business of health insurance to protect competition and consumers. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. for what purpose does the gentleman from hawaii seek recognition? mr. abercrombie: i have an amendment in the nature of a substitute made in order under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: an amendment in the nature of a substitute printed in house report 111-114, offered by mr. abercrombie of hawaii. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from hawaii, mr. abercrombie, and a member opposed each will control 15 minutes. the chair recognized the
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gentleman from hawaii. mr. abercrombie: in support of our substitute amendment, the amendment ensures that native hawaiiian governing entity will have the same governmental authorities and other sovereign immunity of other native governments. the abercrombie amendment follows centuries of well-established federal law. it's supported by the national congress of american indian the skea federation of natives and other organizations. president obama supports the substitute amendment, and i quote, as it adds important regulations to craft a durable pathway forward, unquote. the amendment in the nature of a substitute further clarifies that pending negotiations and subsequent implementation legislation with that the following will occur. there will be no indian country within hawaii. the united states will not take land into trust. nor restrict alien ability of
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land owned by native -- the native hawaiiian governing entity. the governing entity shall not exercise jurisdiction over nonnative hawaiiian individuals without their consent and the state of hawaii will retain regulatory and taxation authority over native hawaiiians and the native hawaiiian governing entity. the native hawaiiian government reorganization does as follows. establish a process for a single native hawaiiian governing entity. establish a u.s. office for native hawaiiian relations in the department of interior to consult with other agencies and the state of hawaii, establish an interagency group, authorize gorkses based on the follow, the transfer of land, natural resources and other acelt the exercise of governmental authority over any lands or
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resources, the exercise of civil and criminal jurisdiction, grievances regarding assertions of historical wrongs, it prohibits gaming by native hawaiiian governing entities and native hawaiiians, it prevents them being eligible for any new indian programs which they're not already included. let me say what the act does not do. it does not recognize a native hawaiiian government upon passage of this bill. it does not exempt the native hawaiiian government from any provision of the u.s. constitution. it does not exempt native hawaiiian government from any provision of federal law. it does not exempt the native hawaiiian government entity from taxation. it does not authorize the native hawaiiian government entity to succeed. it does not alter the civil or criminal jurisdiction of the united states or the state of hawaii, and finally it does not allow for the transfer or any
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-- transfer of land or any authority of land to a native hawaiiian governing entity. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time this the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: is the gentleman opposed to the amendment? mr. hastings: i rise in opposition to the amendment. i yield myself such time as i may consume and ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to this amendment. as i said in my opening statement this amendment was crafted in a manner that has become the hallmark of this democrat-led house. behind closed doors with very little time for the american people or the people of hawaii to review it. it is been available for public review, mr. speaker, for less than 48 hours. just last night, hawaii's governor, a strong supporter of the native american -- or
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native hawaiiian recognition, announced her opposition to this substitute. as introduced, the basic bill, h.r. 2314, provides that matters such as transferring lands and preempting federal and state civil, criminal, and tax jurisdiction must be subject to negotiation with and the con sthovente state of hawaii and the u.s. congress. but this substitute short circuits that public process. it immediately preempts the state of hawaii's jurisdiction over civil, tax, and possibly criminal matters. all the native hawaiiian entity would have to do is undertake anytivity in the name of official government action and immunity from the state authority applies. the substitute makes a number of major revisions. all written in secret, away from public view. let me, mr. speaker, just highlight a few.
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it creates a new membership criteria six pages in length. they do not require one to reside in hawaii to be part of this entity. second, these six pages of member sipe -- membership criteria are meaningless. once the government entity is recognized, it may discard these criteria and grant, deny, or revoke membership for any reason. in the substitute, section 6-c-1 establishing the white house as the lead saget to implement this act. mr. speaker, this unreasonably injects the political operatives of the white house into the formation of a government entity. a new section 7, also requires the attorney general to assign a department of justice attorney to assist and protect
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the government entity. this will wrongly color the objectivity of the justice department when a challenge against the constitution of -- constitutionality of this act is inevitably made. mr. speaker, i'm convinced that there will be one made. mr. speaker, there are fundamental changes from the original bill that deserve more crude scrutiny than we can provide on the house floor today because we've only had, as i mentioned, 48 hers to look at it. bush 48 hours to look at it. let me repeat what are the most objectionable provisions. the entity is immunized from laws in any federal or state court. this entity is immunized from laws in federal or state court and shielded from civil, tax and possibly criminal jurisdiction. i realize this debate has been
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going on, i realize the gentleman from hawaii, mr. abercrombie, has attempted to accommodate the objections of the governor and the attorney general of hawaii. he should be commended for that effort. but the accommodations do not resolve their fundamental problem with this bill, a preemption of state civil taxation and possibly criminal jurisdiction without the consent of the state. governor lingle, as i mentioned last night, formally announced her objection to this substitute. referring to the changes made by the substitute, the governor said, and i quote, i do not believe such a structure, of two completely different sets of rules, one for governmentaltivities of the native hawaiiian government entity and its officers and employees, and one for everyone
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else, makes sense for hawaii. end quote. and mr. speaker, at this time, i ask unanimous consent to have her full text of the letter inserted into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. . mr. hastings: perhaps this could have been bypassed, but again those decisions were kept from these people apparently because they do not agree with the substitute. so, mr. speaker, then, what will be the practical result of this substitute if it becomes law? does it mean the native entity can construct a government building for its officers and employees in violation of state zoning laws? does it it permit the entity to discharge waste material in violation of state law? will it prevent anyone from
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enforcing contracts made with the entity? mr. speaker, if this bill becomes law, those questions are left unanswered. and so perhaps, we will learn the answers to these questions after it's too late. the state will be unable to enforce its laws and regulations over the entity because the new provisions in this substitute. mr. speaker, i just want to emphasize this point. it is not reasonable to roll over the sovereign rights of a state. and it is especially not reasonable when the governor of that state, in this case, governor lingle, who has long been a proponent of the principles embodied in this issue, disagrees and cannot support the amendment that we are discussing here tonight in the nature of a substitute. so for these reasons, mr.
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speaker, i urge and ask my colleagues to vote no on this substitute. and with that, i reserve the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from hawaii. mr. rahall: i yield three minutes to the the gentleman from samoa. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. faleomavaega: i fully support the gentleman's substitute amendment. and i want to ask if we could do a little colloquy in the process. i note there has been some rempses made by our friends on the opposite side concerning the hawaii admissions act, suggesting that there was nothing whatsoever that congress had willed as part of the provision of the hawaiian admissions act taking care of native hawaiians and this is something our colleagues need to understand a little better. after the act, it didn't mean that we completely forgot with
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everything to do with the native hawaiians? mr. rahall: that is correct. mr. faleomavaega: i ask my good friend and as our friends have indicated governorlingle's opposition to the proposed substitute, am i to perceive that the governor is entitled to her opinion and some of the issues affecting the proposed legislation which she has supported for the past seven years, do you see anything that cannot be done in a way that by accepting this proposed substitute, we can still take corrective action, whatever the concerns might be later on? mr. abercrombie: not everyone may have been on the floor or listening at the time that i indicated that i had a conversation with the governor this afternoon and that -- and i indicated to her that i would say specifically on the floor that we have agreed to disagree, that she supports the object of
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the bill, as has been indicated by representative hastings quite accurately, but in that in this disagreement, how to proceed legislatively, i commented both to her and i commented on the floor and in conversations private and elsewhere that legislation is a process and that this is not theology. and as a result of it being a legislative process, it may not be perfect in every regard, but i am content and comfortable with the idea that whoever is governor, including the present governor for the remainder of her term, she will not be disadvantaged nor any other governor be disadvantaged in any negotiations that take place. mr. faleomavaega: i ask my colleague that the idea of comparing native hawaiians to american indians is somewhat
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absurd and i would like to ask the gentleman if such a description -- as our friends on the other side have suggested, is totally irrelevant. there are only three aboriginal grupings under the sovreignty of the united states. the american indians with some 565 tribes fully recognized and 1 hucks other tribes not recognize -- 100 other tribes not recognized, by the way. mr. rahall: i yield 30 more seconds. mr. faleomavaega: 565 tribes are recognized by the federal government. is it suggested that native hawaiians cannot be recognized in the same way, giving them self-esteem and dignity to the native people of hawaii? >> i think the answer from the most practical point of view is
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the passage of the hawaiian homes act of 1921. the congress recognized there was a ties tinchingtive entity in the category of native hawaiians. mr. faleomavaega: i thank the gentleman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: could i inquire how much time on both sides. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington has 8 1/2 minutes. and the gentleman from hawaii has 8 1/2 minutes. mr. hastings: i yield myself three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, in the exchange between my friend from american samoa and my friend from hawaii, the issue was brought up that governor lingle was contacted today and that there would be a way to try to satisfy her concerns. and i don't doubt at all that
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that effort will be tried. hopefully it will be successful. but let me review where we were. when we started the process -- when we started this congress, the original text was 2314, was something that governor lingle endorsed. and the senate bill, which i think was identical or very close, she also endorsed that. but now with the action of the other body with the senate in passing what is commonly referred to, the amendment that is similar to what we are debating here today, the governor does not support that. we have the base bill here, which the governor does support and we are debating now a substitute, which i hope doesn't pass, but i'm a realist, and it may pass and yow we'll have a -- and now we'll have a bill, or two bills, one in each house, in
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which the governor disagrees with. now if you're negotiating in good faith, it would seem to me that you should at least start with a position where the government -- the governor of the affected state is in agreement with what you're trying to do, and that's not the case today if the substitute were to pass. again, i am going to say that i take my good friend from hawaii at his word that he's going to negotiate. maybe if he was the only negotiator, it could be worked out. i don't know. i don't know what is going on behind those doors. nobody knows unfortunately -- >> would the gentleman yield? mr. abercrombie: perhaps you want to put that in as an amendment that perhaps i should be the negotiator. mr. hastings: reclaiming my time, maybe we could work together on that right now if that were the case. mr. speaker, i'm just simply
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putting that out there because this is evolving into a process in who is being left out of this process happens to be the elected governor of the state of hawaii. and to me, that's regretful. with that, i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from hawaii. mr. abercrombie: i yield three minutes to my colleague from hawaii, ms. hirono. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. hirono: i rise in support of the abercrombie substitute amendment. this is a compromise between the hawaiian delegation, the state of hawaii, the obama administration, and the native hawaiian community. much has been made about the remarks of the hawaiian governor and attorney general. the hawaiian delegation took their concerns and many of their recommendations are reflected in
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the abercrombie substitute before you today. under this bill, the native hawaiian governing entity would have the same inherent powers as other native governments possess, namely, american indians and alaskan natives. hawaiians have been the object of unjust and unfair treatment at the hands of our government. why should we perpetrate such treatment? in seeking to have them treated differently from how american indians and native alaskans were treated, the governor and attorney general's position opens the door to challenging such powers as the american natives. while the substitute amendment makes changes to the bill, it doesn't change the intent of the legislation. this bill is a path for native hawaiians to achieve self-determination as has been
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provided. this has remained a consistent and constant goal of the hawaii delegation. after all the years of work and compromise on this bill, this should be the year that congress finally seizes the opportunity to provide justice to native hawaiians. we know the previous administration did not support the previous bill and a presidential veto was likely, but now we have the support of a president who understands and supports the indigenous people of our state. it is disappointing that when we are at the cusp of reaching a historic milestone in the state, the governor and attorney general have supported this bill. congress can and should do the right thing by passing this bill. despite the rhetoric you will hear, it is high time that native hawaiians, through this bill, can once again embark on a journey of historic proportions.
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i urge support of the abercrombie substitute amendment. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i yield myself two minutes. reference was made to the -- how this would affect the laws of hawaii. let me read from the abercrombie substitute, page 51, line one. the native american governing entity shall be immune from any lawsuit in any federal or state court with some exceptions, as i had noted earlier. on the same page, page 51 of the abercrombie substitute, line 18, governmental, nonbusiness, noncommercial activities undertaken by the native hawaiian governing entity shall not be subject to the regulatory or taxation authority of the state of hawaii. now, mr. speaker, i'm just
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pointing out, this is what the substitute says and this is the concern that the attorney general of the state of hawaii and the governor of hawaii has, because we all know when we are writing laws here that the words shall as oppose todd may has very, very strong meaning. and in both cases, it says shall. so with that, mr. speaker, i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from hawaii. mr. abercrombie: mr. speaker, can you tell us the time remaining on both sides, please. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from hawaii has six minutes remaining. the gentleman from washington has 4 and a half na minutes remaining. mr. abercrombie: the gentleman from washington has the privilege of closing, does he not? the speaker pro tempore: that's correct. mr. abercrombie: i yield one minute to the speaker of the house, the honorable nancy pelosi. the speaker pro tempore: the speaker of the house is recognized for one minute.
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the speaker: >> thank you very much. i'm pleased to have this opportunity to come to the floor today to support mr. abercrombie's initiative on behalf of native hawaiians. it is a pursuit that he has followed in all of his years in the congress of the united states. aside from the considerable merit of his important legislation, which i fully support his amendment substitute and absolute the work of congresswoman hirono, too, on behalf of native americans and our colleagues gathered here, it is with mixed emotions that i come. i know you will be successful as you always have been and looking out for native hawaiians, for over 200 years, congress, the executive branch and the supreme court have recognized certain
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legal lights and protections for america's indigenous people. congress's constitutional authority over indigenous affairs is premised upon the original has been tants of this nation. it is the moral and legal responsibility of congress to re-affirm a political relationship with the na jjá1 congress of
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american indians, the skea federation of natives, the council for native hawaiiian advancement, the sovereign councils of hawaiiian homelands assembly, the president of the hawaii state senate, the honorable colleen hanabusa. and the osage nation from the office of the principal chief. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. abercrombie: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. could you tell me how much time remains? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has five minutes remaining. mr. abercrombie: thank you, mr. speaker. the hawaii state attorney
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general argues that granting the native hawaiiian governing entity inherent powers could have an adverse impact on hawaii. i think that's the thrust, essentially, of the critique that's been made about the legislation this afternoon and this early evening. in response, mr. speaker, i would like to say to the members and to yourself, of course, that the current bill language gives the native hawaiiian governing entity no powers currently exercised by governing -- other governing entities until negotiated. this would prevent them providing general assistance to its members or caring for a needy child absent the amendment as a substitute. the substitute amendment absolves this by recognizing the inherent powers, the same inherent powers governments
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possess today, no more, no less. this is not, therefore, a radical notion. by definition, this is what federal recognition does. it acknowledges that an entity is a quasi-sovereign tribal government. the acknowledged inherent powers of the entity will limited by language in the amendment, in the substitute amendment that states, and i quote, nothing in this act shall preempt federal or state authority over native hawaiiians or their property under existing law, unquote. upon recognition, the entity will have no land akin to ind can country over which you could exercise jurisdiction. since some inherent powers are tied to having such land, like certain regulatory authorities, the entity will not be able to exercise those powers. finally, the negotiations process will further modify the powers and authority of the governing entity by virtue of the negotiations themselves. therefore, mr. speaker, i
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request that those members who have some trepidation about voting for the amendment in the nature of a substitute reflect that we believe, those of us who support it, and it was certainly my intention in offering the amendment, to address those concerns in a positive away and in a legislatively viable way. i would ask at this time in closing, mr. speaker, that those members who come to the floor to vote tonight consider voting for it and i earnestly solicit the favorable attention of all members in votes for the amendment in the nature of a substitute. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i yield myself the balance of me time. how much time is that?
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the speaker pro tempore: 4 1/2 minutes. mr. hastings: once again, i want to congratulate and commend my good friend from hawaii, because i know he's been working on this all the time he's been here and probably before, but i just fundamentally disagree with the approach taken with this substitute simply because, at least in the broad sense, this is the only state that is affected by this legislation, the state of hawaii. why we should push forward, when the governor of this state does not agree with the substitute and when the chief legal officer has some question, apparently, in fact it's not apparent, it's pretty obvious, with some of the remarks that i think my friend just made as it relates to laws and regulations of the state of hawaii. since this legislation only affects one state, wouldn't it be prudent for this body and representatives of the other 49 states to suggest to the state
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of hawaii and all their elected officials, why don't you come up with something you can fundamentally agree on? that's not been the case. it's not been in the case in the other body and if this substitute passes, it will not be the cates in this body. -- be the case in this body that disturbs me. that disturbs me that we completely, apparently, don't want to take into consideration their concerns on issues that affect the citizens of the state of hawaii. it's for those reasons, mr. speaker, that i urge my colleagues to vote against the abercrombie substitute. because if the abercrombie substitute is defeated, we will now have a bill that the governor of hawaii can support. that's a good starting point in future negotiations if the house, if the senate were to pass their legislation. so with that, mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to vote no
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on the abercrombie amendment and i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: it is now in order to consider the amendments printed in part b of house report 111-413. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington rise? mr. hastings: i have an amendment made in order under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number one prinned in part b of house report 111-413, offered by mr. hastings of washington. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to haas resolution 1083, the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i yield myself four minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: my amendment requires a statewide vote of approval in hawaii before this is extended to hawaii. the use of a statewide vote in hawaii is not uncommon.
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for example, it has been used to establish staggered termers in state senate to modify the term length for the state tax commission, to issue bonds for private schools and establish residency requirements for candidates seeking higher office. my amendment merely proposes that before congress changes the civil rights of all hawaiiians and establishes a two-tyred government of hawaii, one of which is based on an individual's ancestry and race, a vote of all hawaiiians should be held to approve these changes. the most important statewide vote held in hawaii occurred in 1959, when 94.3% of hawaiiians voted in favor of the hawaiiian acquisitions act. when the adcome of the statewide vote was published, there's no footnote indicates that native hawaiiians would be separated from their neighbors as a distinct political unit. there's ample testimony and statements describing the
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racial harmony and the melting pot that was and still is hawaiiian culture. this is not too say native hawaiiians should not have a distinct culture and history, though, mr. speaker. we all honor and respect the culture and its contributions to all americans. this does not mean there must be a separate legal and political status for them, just as there must not be a separate legal and political status for anyone else based on race and ancestry. it would be a grave mistake for congress to pass this without the consent of the citizens of hawaii as this proposes to do. even if my amendment is adopted, mr. speaker, it will not relieve the serious concerns that many of my colleagues and many institutional experts have with the underlying subject of this legislation. but what this amendment does do is that it puts the question to the people of -- this
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legislation -- to the people this legislation affects most, the citizens of hawaii. in 1959, 94-plus percent of hawaiiians voted for statehood. today, they should be allowed to have a statewide vote about establishing a government based on race. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from west virginia rise? mr. rahall: i rise in opposition to the amendment. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. rahall: the th would require a statewide referendum the hastings amendment is inconsistent with state law, as the state of hawaii has no meck anymore for a statewide referendum, forcing the state of hawaii to change its laws to comply with the amendment this raises the question of it being an unfunded mandate on the state. the abercrombie substitute
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proposes to treat the same as any government. i oppose the amendment and i yield to the gentlelady from hawaii, a minute and a half. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from hawaii is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. ms. hirono: i rise in strong opposition to the hastings amendment which is unnecessary and frankly insulting to native hawaiiians. we can no longer treat native hawaiiians as any less deserving of federal recognition than any other indigenous people. citizens of the state don't get to approve or disapprove of laws in another state's constitution. citizens of states that include indian nations are tribes are not able to approve or disapprove governing documents of these native governments unless they are also citizens of the native government in question.
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this bill provides a process of self-determination for native hawaiiians, by native hawaiiians. the idea that everyone else in hawaii should vote on whether they should be allowed to do so is completely contrary to the intent of this bill. the hastings amendment undercuts a basic principle in our constitutional government. the citizens have a right to determine their own laws and be governed by those laws. it would set a precedent that could have negative influences on the government. unless you believe citizens of other states should be able to vote to approve or amend the organic governing documents of your own state, you should oppose the hastings amendment and i encourage my colleagues to do so. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i yield myself one and a half minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: the state of hawaii can and does hold
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statewide votes in general elections. article 17 of the hawaii constitution describes the process for holding such votes and takes the acti legislature. this is consistent with hawaii's political culture. since 1994, for example, the state of hawaii has considered 25 different statewide votes. they include a number of things that i talked about in my opening remarks. mr. speaker, i am convinced that if we were to pass this bill, article 17 would come into play because i believe in all likelihood because of recent polling the legislature of hawaii would say, you know, we have the ability to put this to a vote, maybe we ought to do this and we are creating another governmental entity that have different rules and regulations than the state of hawaii. that seems self-evident to me and my amendment simply facilitates that by saying that should happen. it can happen under article 17
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of the hawaiiian constitution. with that, i reserve my time. the balance of his time. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: how much time do i have left, mr. speaker? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia has three minutes remaining and the gentleman from washington has 1 1/2 minutes. mr. rahall: i yield one minute to the the gentleman from from american ca -- american samoa. mr. faleomavaega: i do have some very serious concerns about the amendment. in the first place, when we talk about the event that took place in 1959, it was a referendum of whether or not the voters, the people of hawaii, would accept statehood for that matter. what we are establishing here is a very dangerous precedent in my humble opinion. everything we are going to be referring, referendums to state governments to tell us the will
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of the people of the state when this should be done by the congress expressing that will for collectively all on behalf of our federal governments. i do oppose the gentleman's amendment. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, could i inquire of my friend who has a right to close if he has a has a right to close if he has any more speakers snr mr. rahall: one more speaker. mr. hastings: one and you will close. mr. rahall: my last speaker will close. mr. hastings: i yield myself the balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: let me make reference to the 1959 vote. the vote was not whether you accept statehood because if they voted no, the they wouldn't have been a state. the question is whether they wanted statehood. and over 94% said yes, they want statehood.
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that is a little bit of see man particulars there. this issue to me is equally as important, because the vote there said we want to become part of the united states as a unified state. this action that we are debating here today could divide the state of hawaii. they ought to have the opportunity to vote. i urge my colleagues to vote for the hastings amendment. and with that, i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i yield to the the gentleman from hawaii. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from hawaii is recognized for two minutes. mr. abercrombie: mr. speaker, i request that my full statement be admitted into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. abercrombie: with all due respect to my colleague and friend, mr. hastings from washington state, i have to oppose this amendment, because it has no precedent or any place in federal law that has been in place for well over 150 years as that law relates to native
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governments. under our constitution, the citizens of the united states are the only citizens though are authorized and recognized as having a right to have a say in the laws, be they federal statutes or amendments to our constitution. the citizens of one state in our union do not get to weigh in on the laws of another state or any proposed amendments to another state's constitution. put simply, they cannot vote for changes in the law of the state which they aren't citizens. foreign governments have no role to play in the formulation of the laws of the united states or the u.s. constitution. all of these fundamental principles have in their foundation the fact that each government is a separate sovereign and only the citizens of that sovereign government may determine what governmental powers and authorities that sovereign government may exercise. it's no different from native governments and the united states. the largest native government in the united states is navajo nation and it's situated in four states.
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because they aren't citizens of the navajo nation, the non-navajo nation, arizona, utah, colorado and new mexico do not formulate amend or approve the governing documents either of the constitution or laws of the navajo nation. under our federal statutes, the non-indian citizens of washington state do not have the right to approve the laws of the 28 tribal states in the washington state. they don't have the approval if they aren't citizens of the native government. if the gentleman's premise is that without regard to citizenship -- have we concluded? the speaker pro tempore: all time for debate has expired. mr. abercrombie: woy suggest that they vote down the hastings
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amendment on the basis that it is an inherent conflict of interest. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. all time for debate on the amendment has expired. the question is on the amendment by the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, to the amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by the gentleman from hawaii, mr. abercrombie. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the nos have it -- the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i demand the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to section 2 of house resolution 1083, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from washington will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? mr. flake: i have an amendment at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will designate the amendment.
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the clerk: amendment number two printed in part b, offered by mr. flake of arizona. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 1083, the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i thank the chairman, this amendment i hope would not be controversial. it has nothing to do with earmarks either. but it would simply ensure that the equal protection clause, 14th amendment of the constitution, applies to the governing authority established by this legislation. i want to say how much i admire the gentleman from hawaii, mr. abercrombie. i have worked with him for a number of years on a number of issues and i know he brings to this debate a lot of hard work and a lot of care. and i just want to commend him for that and for all that he does. but anyway, i think that this
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amendment simply clarifies, i would hope, that this does not violate any portion of the constitution. it has been said by the proponents of the legislation that it does not, but there is still a lot of question out there, as has been noted. the governor of hawaii and the attorney general do not support the bill or this substitute amendment to the bill and they have repeatedly expressed concerns fearing that it would apply different rules to those under their jurisdiction. and i think that if there is any question that we ought to ensure that at least at a minimum that we are complying with the 14th amendment. the 14th amendment states all born and nationalized in the united states are citizens of the united states and the state wherein they reside, no state shall enforce any law which
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shall abridge the privileges or rights of any citizen, nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. i should note that on august 28, 2009, the united states commission on civil rights voiced its opposition in a letter to members of the congress stating, quote, the commission recommends against passage of the native hawaiian reorganization act or any other legislation that would discriminate on the basis of race or national origin and subdivide the ever american into discrete subgroups and cow according varying degrees of privilege. the proponents will say it complies with the constitution, some question it may not. and the commission of civil
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rights has worries. why not make sure and adopt language that says it simply complies or no language in this legislation shall be contrary to the 14th amendment. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from west virginia rise in the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. rahall: mr. speaker, this amendment proposes to require the authority to comply with the equal protection clause. the substitute will correctly treat the native governing entity the same as other native american governments. specifically the substitute mandates that the native hawaiian governments organic governments must provide for the protection of native hawaiian citizens and requires that the organic governing documents must provide for the protection of civil rights of all persons affected by an exercise of governmental powers and authorities and the abercrombie
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substitute to the indian civil rights act of 1968 which prohibits a denial of equal protection of any person. there is no reason for this amendment and i would urge its defeat and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i thank the gentleman. the gentleman is arguing that it is redundant. i would suggest that if the governor, the attorney general of the state of hawaii both have concerns about it and the u.s. commission on civil rights recommends against its passage for these very concerns, that there is at least some question about whether or not it complies with the 14th amendment. so why not adopt this amendment? why not -- if we're saying straight out, this complies with the 14th amendment, why not simply adopt this amendment? there is definitely question out there. if everyone is saying let's pass
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it the way it is, there is no constitutional question, that would be one thing. we don't that today. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i'm the final speaker, is that correct? the speaker pro tempore: that's correct. the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: let me just say, there was a paper that sent around to members and to certify that the governing entity is in compliance with the law and provides for protection of the native hawaiian governing entity. we are talking apples and oranges here. what it stipulates is that civil rights are applied equally to those within the governing authority and so it simply
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stipulates that those within the native hawaiian governing act will comply with federal law. in other words, there will be no discrimination among them. it doesn't address the core question here that we are seeking to address. it doesn't address whether or not there is a constitutional question about whether or not individuals outside of the governing entity here might be discriminated against. could you have a situation -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. flake: i urge adoption of the amendment and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i yield the balance of my time to mr. abercrombie. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. . . mr. abercrombie: may i take a few seconds, i believe this will be the last discussion on
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both the amendments and the bill prior to voting, to thank mr. flake for his friendship over these years and to say to him that i admire his independent spirit, i admire his devotion to this house, i admire his steadfast sense of responsibility in the various amendments that he offers. i wish i could support it on the basis of my friendship and admiration for him but i'd like to say that in that context, and i hope i'm stating the purpose of the amendment correctly, mr. flake wants to require any native governing entity to comply with the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment of the united states constitution. if i had to summarize it in a sentence, that's the way i'd put it. he asked in the course of his remarks, why not make sure. i think that's a perfectly reasonable request. but my contention would be in asking that the amendment not
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be voted favorably upon is that precisely what he seeks to succeed with with his amendment is exactly what's in the bill itself, which is in the amendment as a substitute. mr. flake's amendment, then, is duplicative of current federal law. only after a thoughtful, deliberate process did congress impose most of the provisions of the bill of rights on tribes through the indian civil rights act of 196 . the equal protection and due process provisions of the bill of rights were included verbatim in the indian civil rights act. the indian civil rights act specifically states, quote, no indian tribe in exercising the powers of self-government shall deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of its laws or deprive any person of the liberty or property without due process. section 3202, no indian tribe
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in exercisesing pow -- exercising powers of self-government deny to any person in its jurisdiction the equal protection of its laws or deny my person of liberty or property without due process of law. the flake amendment, then, essentially then ignores the provision of h.r. 2314 as amended, should we pass the substitute. the bill applies the indian civil rights act to the entity, the native hawaiiian entity and requires the secretary of the interior to certify it's in compliance with federal law, that its governing documents provide for the protection of civil rights of the native hawaiiian governing entity as well, thus the flake amendment, as i indicated, i believe is a duplication and would actually create a double standard for the native hawaiiian governing entity, not treating them as other federally recognized tribal governments are today.
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finally, i think the amendment could be subject to broad interpretation, the scope of which is unclear and as a result litigate would likely flourish in federal courts which might take years to resolve. the courts would have to examine the u.s. constitution, and numerous federal court decisions that already imposes the same equal protection guarantees on tribes that mr. flake's amendment seeks to impose. therefore, mr. speaker, i ask that in the context of my admiration and respect for mr. flake, that his amendment, however, be defeated. with that, mr. speaker, i would -- if i have time remaining, i would like to take the occasion then to thank mr. hastings, mr. flake, and all those on the resources committee, republican and democrat alike, who have been my colleagues and friends all these years. i think the resources committee is one of the most unappreciated committees,
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unappreciated in the sense of comp rehence, by perhaps even member of congress and the public as large. no committee deals with as detailed a set of circumstances a threzz resources committee does my respect and administration for all its members abides with me as i take leave of the house. aloha to you, mr. speaker, allow ha to the house of representatives, and aloha to all members here tonight. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. all time on the amendment has expire the question is on the amendment by the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake, to the amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by the gentleman from hawaii, mr. abercrombie. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the noes have it. mr. flake: i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: all those in favor of a recorded vote please rise. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to section 2 of house
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resolution 1083, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona will be postponed. pursuant to section 2 of house resolution 1083, proceedings will now resume on the amendments printed in house report 111-413 on which further proceedings were postponed in the following order. amendment pinted in part b by mr. hastings of washington. amendmented in part b by mr. flake of arizona. amendment printed in part a by mr. abercrombie of hawaii. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will reduce to five minutes the time for any electronic vote after the first vote in this series. the unfinish bids is the question on the dotchings the amendment prinned in part b of house report 111-413 by the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the clerk will redesignate the
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amendment. the clerk: amendment number one, printed in part bmbing of house report 111-413 offered by mr. hastings of washington. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on adoption of the amendment. members will record their volts by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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